Walmart on Monday announced the first major roll-out of its propriety mobile payments service, Walmart Pay, in approximately 600 stores in Texas and Arkansas.
The service, first announced in December, allows customers to make payments on Apple and Android devices with almost all major credit, debit and pre-paid cards or Walmart gift cards. Once at the register, a customer can find the payment option on Walmart's mobile app and use their camera to scan a code from the register. Once the transaction is finished, the customer gets an e-receipt via the app.
Walmart says the its app has more than 20 million active users each month. With that large of a user base, Walmart has the heft to influence the development of mobile payments. Other retailers like Target have also decided to develop their own mobile payment systems. Yet even with more established services available like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, mobile payments have yet to really take off. Forrester predicts that by 2019, mobile payments will account for just 1 percent of all payment transactions.
Walmart's payment app, however, also gives the retail giant an edge against its brick-and-mortar competitors like Target. For instance, a shopper at Target could use the Walmart app to do a price comparison on an item and then use Walmart Pay to buy it and place it on hold at a local store.